Posts Tagged ‘Competent Carl’

My Son’s Learning Style


I’ll take today to talk a little about my child’s personality and learning style. He’s very personable and 20110326_7985loves people although he can get a little shy with groups of new peers. He loves to start conversations with all the adults he meets in this fascinating world from his parents friends to flirting with the waitresses at restaurants. Yes, he’s a charmer. Of course, the people that meet him in those situations would probably be surprised to learn that he really has to trust someone to be willing and happy to stay with them while mom and dad are away.

Recently, I had an epiphany regarding my son’s learning style. I’ve read several books about learning style but nothing stuck out as, “Yes, this is my son,” until recently. I was reading the summary of different learning styles in “100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child’s Learning Style” by Cathy Duffy. I then read, the description for “Competent Carl,” and I said, “Wow, they are describing my child.” Our exchange student, who was sitting next to me, agreed and laughed. I then handed it to my husband. As the words, “Who does this remind you of,” came out of my mouth I thought, “wait, who is he going to say it reminds him of.” I realized that it also described my husband. Yes, my son is a “Competent Carl,” just like his daddy.

I suddenly realized why the Enki Kindergarten materials wasn’t really speaking to my son. The abundance of song, imaginative story and crafts sounded like fun to me but my son was looking for content and purpose. Too much pomp and circumstance. It also explained why he doesn’t like crafts unless they have a purpose, doesn’t like anything without a purpose and why he likes workbooks while so many of my friends report that their children do not.

So, how to do I describe my “Competent Carl?” He doesn’t like to do anything that doesn’t have a purpose or direct benefit to him. He always wants things the way they are supposed to be. He also likes to just get to the point. No dancing or singing to learn a skill but rather direct, to the point, learning. He often likes workbooks. They say that as he gets older, he will tends to be very self directed and can do much of his learning independently. I can see that. Sounds pretty good, right. Well, yes and no. He can be stubborn as he knows what he wants. This realization also threw mom for loop. I was so buying into the concept of lots of crafting and doing all sorts of fun little things to learn a new concept and not introducing academics too early. To this child, this is beating around the bush and frustrating. Now, some would disagree. They would say, it is good to exercise your child’s weaknesses and not just encourage the imbalance so that these kids can be more rounded. Well, I’ve decided that I’m okay with my son being an academic and a bit imbalanced. I’ll keep exercising his social part, as I think being able to interact comfortably with the rest of the world to be paramount to happiness. I figure, as long as my son can take care of himself and hold his own socially, he’s good. As for socially, he can be a little shy in certain situations with his peers but his mom was the same way at his age. She was fearless around adults and family but not sure how to interact with other kids. For her (me), she didn’t have the benefit of having friends that she’d known since birth like her son does. As she got older she was then known as being willing to speak her mind, enjoys leading and enjoys the company of other humans. Dad, while brilliant and an introvert at heart, does very well with people. Especially when he was younger, people had no idea he was actually an introvert. So, I’ve declared (at least for now), we will take advantage of my son’s learning style and help him learn the way that he’s most comfortable with and can learn best with.